When I was seven my family lived in the country. Our home was away from the village in moorland. What freedom we had, my brother and I. We often went for walks with mum and dad… Fresh milk was collected from a farm across the fields. Many a time I carried milk home in a metal container.
The house stood proud in moorland. I walked down the moors to get to school. The undergrowth smelled wonderful when wet. It was frightening especially when the cows were out feeding. To a seven year old the cows were huge.
Move on sixty five years and I decided to do that walk again. The school no longer there, the path now overgrown and replaced by an easier route. Well it always was overgrown and often I would reach school with wet feet.. I followed the new path for a good distance and then it stopped. The moorland smelled just as it did in my dreams. Dragging myself over a dry stane dyke I landed in the field where the dreaded cows were feeding over in the corner munching away. They looked at me looking at them. I was rooted to the spot, my childhood fear returned. Breathing quickly I braced myself to get into the next field climbing over a second dry stand dyke. No mean feat for a seventy two year old.
Walking on I came to where the house once stood. The pond at the front had been filled in. No more rhododendrons to be seen. They are still my favourite flowers. How we loved to play there, my brother and I on the bogie dad made for us and my two sisters in their prams watching us. Mum would be hanging out the washing to blow like white flags in the wind. I sat on a sandstone from the demolished house and remembered those far off days.
The sun now disappearing, it was time to negotiate those dry stane dykes again, not forgetting the cows. The smells of an earlier time followed me all the way down the moorland. The birdsong still filled me with delight. That evening I shared my secret adventure with my grown up children. They were horrified I had gone off on my own but laughed at my fear of cows. Here's to my next adventure.